How to Clean and Prepare Leeks

How to Clean and Prepare Leeks

This post is a brief tutorial on how to clean and prepare leeks for cooking. They often have dirt tucked in between the layers and need to be cleaned before adding them to recipes.

I’m going to walk you through how to quickly and easily clean them. Then I will jump into how to prepare and cut them.

Our tomato gnocchi with spinach and leeks is one of my favorite dinner recipes of all time. So you’ve gotta know how to clean them before you can make that heaven sent recipe!

A photo of a womans hands cleaning leeks under a running faucet

How to Clean Leeks

  • Rinse the leeks and remove any visible dirt on the outside.
  • The slice the leek lengthwise about a third of the way into the pale green stem section (see photo).

A photo of a leek sitting on the counter.

  • Then peel back the layers and run them under running water (see next photo).

A photo of a woman's hands cleaning leeks under a running faucet.

  • Slice off the dark green end of the leek. They are very tough and don’t really soften unless you cook them for a long time. I like to use mine to make stock.
  • Slice the root end off the leek.

A photo of two leeks sitting side by side on a wooden cutting board. The top of one of the leeks has been cut off and a knife is laying on the cutting board next to them.

  • Cut the leeks either into rings crosswise or julienne them lengthwise. It really just depends on how you are going to use the leeks. For our tomato gnocchi with leeks recipe, I like to cut them into rings as shown in the photo below.

A photo of all the ingredients for creamy sun dried tomatoe gnocchi all prepped sitting on a wooden cutting board.

  • If you are still seeing dirt when slicing, you can place the sliced pieces of leek into a bowl full of cold water.
  • Massage the leek pieces. This will remove dirt which will settle at the bottom.
  • Scoop the pieces out with your hands or a slotted spoon.

What are Leeks?

Leeks are a vegetable that are in the onion family. They have a more mild flavor thank onions and are slightly sweet. They are grown down in the dirt and should be cleaned before adding to an recipe.

 

Now that you know how to clean and prepare leeks, you can use them all the time in your cooking. It is such an underutilized vegetable in my opinion! They are so yummy!

 

Recipes That Use Leeks

READ: How to Clean and Prepare Leeks

Originally posted at Oh Sweet Basil

How to make Bread Rolls (Pao)

Soft and light, these delicious bread rolls are made from scratch and make the perfect addition to any dinner menu or party meal.

How to make bread rolls
Bread Rolls

Believe me when I say, there’s nothing better than taking a batch of freshly baked bread out of the oven. Except of course, eating it. Have you ever tried baking bread at home, from scratch? I know a lot of people feel intimidated by the thought of yeast. I was a member of that club for a very long time. But I can tell you this much, if you keep a few things in mind, you will be well on your way to mastering the art of bread baking. Moreover, there are so many varieties to try.

The recipe I’m sharing with you today is one that I fall back on frequently to make bread rolls. It’s a very basic bread recipe and makes a great starting point, if you haven’t baked bread before.

Things to keep in mind –

  • Yeast – Make sure that your yeast is viable. This is easy to do. Place the quantity specified in the recipe in a bowl with warm water and sugar. When rested for about 5 minutes, the yeast gets bubbly and frothy, signalling that it is still viable. If it doesn’t froth up, you may need to replace your yeast.
  • Using warm water – Make sure that your water is warm, not hot. You should be able to keep your finger submerged in the warm water comfortably. If you cannot, the water is too hot, and it will kill the yeast.
  • Kneading the dough – Kneading the dough takes a little time. You need to do this patiently. This helps build gluten fibres, which in turn will help your bread rise well.
  • Resting time – Bread almost always, cannot be rushed, unless you’re making a quick bread. The time needed to rest (prove) your dough depends on the ambient temperature. Resting the dough in a warm spot in the kitchen will help it rise. If it is really cold where you are, consider keeping it by a window that gets a lot of sun or in the oven with just the light on.

Keep these vital points in mind when you’re making bread and you will see great results. Bread making gets better with practice. If your first batch doesn’t turn out spectacular, don’t worry, the next batch will be better, since you now know what to expect. So now that we’ve covered all of that, let’s move on to the recipe.

How to make Bread Rolls (Pao)

Recipe by Trisha Vaz

Yields

12

Rolls

Prep time

20

minutes

Cooking time

25

minutes

Resting Time

2

hours

Soft and light, these delicious bread rolls are made from scratch and make the perfect addition to any dinner menu or party meal.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 tsp instant dried yeast

  • 2 tsp sugar

  • 1/4 cup warm water + 1 cup warm water (approx.) to knead the dough

  • 3 cups plain flour / all purpose flour

  • 1 tsp salt

  • 1-2 tbsp olive oil

Directions

  • In a little bowl, place the warm water and add sugar and yeast to it. Stir to mix a little. Let it stand for about 5-10 minutes for the yeast to activate.
  • In a large mixing bowl, place the flour and salt. Mix through.
  • Make a well in the centre and add the yeast and sugar solution. Mix it in with the flour. Add more warm water gradually and knead to a smooth, soft dough. (I had to use just over 1 cup of water) Once the dough comes together, continue kneading for about 5 minutes. You will find the dough gets a little more stretchy than it first was.
  • Drizzle oil and knead it into the dough.
  • Lightly oil the bottom of the bowl and place the dough in it. I lightly oil the top of the dough too. This keeps it from drying out. Cover and set aside in a warm spot in the for about an hour or till the dough has doubled in size.
  • Knock the dough back to get rid of the air bubbles and roll to a ball. Cut into portions and roll out into smooth balls. Place them about an inch apart in a lightly greased baking pan.
  • Cover and leave it in a warm spot for the second rise. This takes about 45 minutes to an hour.
  • Preheat your oven to 180 degrees. Brush the top of the bread rolls with some water and bake for about 25-30 minutes.
  • As soon as the bread is baked, take it out of the oven, brush some butter over the top and cover the pan for around 5 minutes with a clean tea towel. This traps the steam in and keeps the rolls soft.
  • Then take the rolls out of the pan and leave them on a cooling rack to cool.

    Enjoy!!!

Recipe Video

Notes

  • This is a vegan friendly recipe. I used a vegan butter, but feel free to use a butter of your choice.

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Originally posted at The Aspiring Homecook